The Week in Business: Happy New Year, here’s $ 600

Welcome to 2021 The next few months may not be easier than the last, but let’s do it once a week. Here you need to know the business and technology news for the coming days. – Charlotte Cowles

Under increasing pressure from both sides, President Trump on 27 December Finally signed the $ 900 billion pandemic bailout package, Which he had previously opposed. This bill, which lasted several months in Congress, stopped the functioning of the government Provided billions of dollars in coronavirus assistance For hospitals, schools, businesses and American families. By delaying his signature, Mr. Trump allowed two epidemic-related unemployment assistance programs to end the livelihoods of millions of Americans. The new law restored them.

The aid bill may be official, but Congress is still debating one of its provisions: a direct-payment incentive check. Should Mr. Trump, as Mr. Trump has demanded, be originally stated bills, or originally $ 2,000, $ 600? Democrats were more than happy to push for Mr. Trump’s high pay, in a strange position to discredit the president if they disagreed. But Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said there was “no realistic path” to the proposal, which he did Managed to block effectively Democrats will never agree on two other measures, including an investigation into the integrity of the 2020 election. The $ 600 payment began going to Americans last week, and most recipients Hope to save money Instead of spending and boosting the economy.

If you have ever paid a hospital bill, you know how complicated they can be. This is because the price tag of a medical procedure depends on the rate that each hospital negotiates with individual insurers. That amount is usually kept confidential and is Adequately marked How much does this process actually cost the hospital to provide. but it now, Under a new federal rule that went into effect on January 1, Hospitals must disclose the rates they negotiate with insurance companies – or face fines of up to $ 300 per day. This penalty compares to peanuts that hospitals typically charge both insurers and patients, but this is a step toward transparency.

Did you cancel your holiday plans this year? I certainly did – it just seemed pointless to take the time to sit at home. Apparently I’m not alone, and now there are many employers Adjusting their holiday policies So that they can catch the workers on holidays they did not take in 2020. According to the use-instead-of-lose-it rules, employees are required to abandon unused vacation time at the end of December, with many major companies, including Bank of America, Citigroup and Condé Nast, calling for new years I am giving special allowances to roll over your paid time. One more thing to look forward to in 2021.

All agree that vaccine delivery is in the United States Very slowly, And the federal government fell far short of its goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020. But no one can agree on this. The Trump administration has blamed states for not moving quickly with the vaccines they received. State governments say they need more federal money. And holiday shipping delays aren’t helping either. President-Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the process and warned that at this rate, it would take “not years, but months” to apply enough vaccines to preserve the country and reopen the economy. .

Another thing we are happy to leave behind in 2020: Brexit and its continuing drama. More than four years after Britain left the European Union, the two sides Finally new travel and business rules were agreed, And the British Parliament approved the deal last week. This arrangement will establish new customs procedures on the UK border and end the free movement of people between the UK and EU countries. But this is already happening anyway, as Britain has New version of coronavirus Which pervades the whole country.

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